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Curb Wasteful Spending and Malfeasance by the Wake County Board of Education

,
and Prevent School Re-segregation

Whereas
The current Republican-funded majority on the Wake County school board
voted to move the site for Forest Ridge High School to an alternative site which
will incur an additional cost of ten to fifteen million dollars according to the
Wake County School Board’s professional staff, and is against the staff’s
recommendations.
Whereas
The current Republican-funded majority on the Wake County school board
voted to spend additional funds to hire an interim legal council to advise the
board on defending against discrimination suits. This contract with Republican
attorney Thomas Farr pays $250 per hour and can cost up to $75,000.
Whereas
The current Republican-funded majority on the Wake County school board has
put Superintendent of Schools Del Burns on paid leave even though he has
resigned effective June 30th, 2010; Mr. Burns cannot in good conscience
implement the policies that have been approved and the policies that have
been proposed by the majority of the Wake County Board of Education. By
sidelining Mr. Burns, the school board is paying him $145,550.00 without getting
the benefit of his vast knowledge and experience.
Whereas
The current Republican-funded majority on the Wake County school board has
converted the Leesville Rd. Elementary, Leesville Rd. Middle, & Mills Park
Elementary Schools to traditional calendar schools from year round schools.
Mills Park Middle school will open on a traditional calendar rather than year-
round as originally planned. The Leesville Elementary School conversion alone
will cost the Wake County Public Schools $14.1 million in construction costs to
make up for lost year round school capacity.

Additional conversions advocated by the school board majority will reduce even
more overall school capacity and so require construction of additional schools
and \ or acquisition of trailers and cause a large number of expensive
additional school reassignments.
Whereas
Republican-funded school board member John Tedesco’s so called “Community
Assignment Zones” plan will underutilize many inner city schools, force
construction of new schools, and result in massive and expensive school
reassignments.
Whereas
The lessons from other school systems -- including the Charlotte Mecklenburg
Schools -- demonstrate that the high poverty schools that would be created by
Mr. Tedesco’s proposal will:
• Drive good teachers out of high poverty schools resulting in expensive
teacher recruitment and incentives to keep good teachers in high
poverty schools; those teachers burn out over time.
• Require funding at 2 to 3 times the rate per pupil of low poverty schools
and become a drain on low poverty school funding or raise taxes. Yet
greater funding for High Poverty Schools does not have a good
educational outcome; the outcome is demonstrably better for schools
with a student body that is economically diverse, and requires less
funding than high poverty schools.
• Drive middle class families who reside in high poverty school zones into
private schools and so deprive public schools of funding.
Whereas
The Wake County school board majority’s elimination of the diversity policy will
disqualify the Wake County Public School System from MSAP grants from the
federal government. This includes $8.5 million in MSAP grants that are already
approved through 2010 and any future grants from this program. To date, MSAP
federal grants to magnet schools for curriculum and staff development have
totaled $36.2 million. Potential new grants include $1.5 million for the next
school year, and a 3 year grant for $12 million.
Whereas
Scarce public education funds must be used for classroom instruction to
efficiently and effectively educate students.
Whereas
There is evidence that the Republican-funded majority on the Wake County
school board has violated the public meetings law by meeting privately to
discuss strategy after they were elected and prior to their first official board
meeting, by texting each other privately during school board meetings, and
restricting attendance at board meetings. However there is no mechanism to
remove a school board member for malfeasance.
Whereas
Four members of the Republican-funded majority on the Wake County school
board were elected in 2011 by a small percentage of the citizens in their
districts, the board majority is radically changing the nationally acclaimed
Wake County Public School System in ways that will end diversity and re-
segregate this school system, and yet these board members cannot currently be
recalled.

Therefore be it resolved
The Wake County Democratic Party urges the Wake County Board of
Commissioners to reject any budget that inflates the cost of education due to
any of these misguided school board policies.
Be it further resolved
The Wake County Democratic Party urges the NC State Legislature to amend
the state laws that enable the Wake County Board of Education (e.g., North
Carolina General Statutes Chapter 115 C Article 5) to:
• Provide for the removal of school board members if they have violated
state law.
• Allow for recall elections for school board members.
• Mandate economic and racial diversity in public schools